Honoring Heritage: La Paloma’s New Library Space Celebrates Native American History

District and Tribal Leadership celebrated the opening of the La Paloma Reading Room

The Fallbrook Union Elementary School District is excited to announce the grand opening of a new reading center at La Paloma Elementary School’s library. The event, held on Friday, featured celebrations with local Native American tribal members.

The reading center, transformed from a dark and plain corner into a vibrant area filled with colorful murals and books, aims to educate students about Native American history as well as other diverse histories. “This is really what it’s about. Every one of those elders talked about the portals, the books, how can we find ourselves in the books. What can we find about each other in the past,” explained Regan Pedo, the school’s librarian.

Angel Sanchez Reyes, chief of the N’de Apache tribe, shared his pride in being part of the occasion. “It’s an honor for me. It’s an honor because of our culture… our tribe, the N’de Apache tribe, the people that I represent, and most importantly I was called to do this,” said Reyes. He expressed his passion for sharing tribal stories and history, adding, “If you ask any Native American about their history, they’ll be more than glad to tell you. We’re just not asked often enough. And we would love to share that.”

Regan Pedo led the initiative to create a space that honors the deep history of the area. Upon discovering that La Paloma Elementary School was built on an ancient burial ground, Pedo was inspired to give back to the community. “There’s a lot of history underneath here, La Paloma, this ground,” Pedo noted. “We have several tribes surrounding us. So I knew once I made those connections… It was gonna be a powerful thing to open a beautiful room to remind children this is where we are and remind us of how we can be better.”

Virginia Camacho, a member of the N’de Apache tribe, spoke about the significance of the library in preserving cultural heritage for future generations. “And what better way than a library to teach the kids growing up their culture? They need to know everything that’s involved in their background so when they grow up they can be as proud as we are,” said Camacho.

The project was made possible by a grant from former HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, which provided funding for the new space and new books in both English and Spanish.

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